Review by steph4nowadays
Not For Those With A Short Attention Span
Despite the shortcomings in graphics and audio, I think this game is a lot of fun if you want to pass some time but don't want to get caught up in the game. This game was made to be played for a small amount of time each day.
The graphics for Ikariam are pretty good. Everything has the 3D feel to it. The colors used just seem ancient and classical. As you upgrade the town, the images become better as well, but I still wish there was a better variety of how the buildings or portraits of people were. Having a better option of customization would have helped. I also think they could have done more with motions. In the world map, you can see dolphins swimming around every now and then. They could have made use of that in more places to give it a more life-like feeling.
No sounds or music whatsoever. This really hurts the experience for me. I would have expected different music used depending if you were in a time of peace, war, or even just signing on. But you don't get anything. I mean, sure it is a browser game, but is a cheap little sound effect when you press a button too much to ask? It didn't bother me that much, though, since I usually play with the sound off on most of my games. But if you are expecting sound from this game, you are not getting a thing.
GAME PLAY: 10/10
The heart of this game lies in its game play. It is a highly interactive game. You cannot get anywhere in the game, not to mention enjoy it, unless you interact with other people on your island and other islands. Your island will not have all the materials you will need to succeed. You must trade, buy, or pillage others for what you need. Also, the game relies on a variety of processes such as the ones just mentioned, expanding and constructing buildings, gathering the material on your island, and much more. All this takes time. As you get to higher levels, it takes even more time, sometimes days to get things done if you do not have enough supplies for other upgrades. That is why this is not a game you can sit down and play for hours. You'll end up just waiting for something to happen, and it will take a while. It puts a lot of power in your hand, so the time issue is a bit realistic if you think about it. There are a lot of things to do to build your empire, and, of course, Rome was not built in a day.
REPLAY VALUE: 8/10
The games replayability lies mostly in the fact that you get to make colonies. In this way, you get to go through all that work you did the first time all over again, but it still counts for the same empire. There is no actual "winning" the game. It is all about getting to the top and staying at the top. That is what will keep you coming, if you enjoy games like that.
I am just a fan of games like this. I can overlook the negatives in sound and graphics. The time issue can be annoying if you want to get a lot done on a day you have free time but the upgrades take too long. The wide variety of activities, possible buildings, and ways to interact with other players still make this game worth it.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Ikariam (US, 12/31/07)
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